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August 31, 2023

Attorney General Bird Sues Excavators in Violation of Iowa’s One Call Law

DES MOINES- Today, Attorney General Bird has filed three lawsuits in Boone, Jones, and Marion counties alleging contractors conducted illegal excavations, some of which damaged underground utility lines. 

Iowa’s One Call law requires that anyone who digs, excavates, or trenches contact Iowa One Call at least 48 hours in advance to prevent damaging underground facilities. The law also requires all underground facilities to be promptly and accurately marked in the area of a planned excavation. Iowa One Call services are free to homeowners, contractors and professional excavators. 

“Before you dig, call 811,” said Attorney General Bird. “Not only is it the law, but it's the best way to protect yourself, your property, and your community. Hitting an underground utility line can cause serious injuries, property damage, and service disruptions. By calling 811, we can reduce these risks and keep Iowans safe.” 

Boone County - Klein Concrete, LLC 

In August 2022, Klein Concrete conducted an excavation to install a new deck at property in Ogden without giving the proper 48-hour notice to operators of underground facilities who may have been affected by the excavation, according to the lawsuit. The excavation came within several feet of an underground natural gas pipeline. 

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and a court order barring the company from violating the One Call law. Read the full lawsuit here

Jones County - JK Landscape 

In November 2022, JK Landscape conducted an excavation to install a waterline in Anamosa without giving the proper 48-hour notice to operators of underground facilities who may have been affected by the excavation, according to the lawsuit. The excavation hit and damaged a natural gas pipeline. 

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and a court order barring the company from violating the One Call law. Read the full lawsuit here

 

Marion County - Van Den Broek Concrete 

Civil Penalty: $15,000.00 

On three separate occasions in 2022, Van Den Broek Concrete conducted excavations to remove and replace driveways in Pella without giving the proper 48-hour notice to operators of underground facilities who may have been affected by the excavation, according to the lawsuit. One of the excavations hit and damaged an electrical line.   

Van Den Broek Concrete admitted to the violations and agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty in addition to injunctive relief prohibiting future violations. Read the full lawsuit and consent order.

 

Iowa One Call Law 

Violators are subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per day for violations related to natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, and up to $1,000 per day involving other underground facilities. Violators also may be liable for the repair costs of damaged facilities.  

The Iowa One Call Notification Center can be reached online at www.iowaonecall.com or by phone at 811 (or toll-free at 800-292-8989). The center is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

 

Filing complaints

To report an alleged One Call violation, go to: 

https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/onecall/onecall-complaints-and-enforcement

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For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet | Press Secretary

515-823-9112

alyssa.brouillet@ag.iowa.gov

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